Dear friends and comrades,
Fourteen years ago, at the beginning of the new millennium, the World Social Forum came to the fore as the response of the people to the globalization of the markets. It was deliberately meant as versatile meeting of movements, trade unions and associations from around the world, looking for progressive solutions to global problems: poverty, social inequality, lack of democracy, racism, environmental destruction, and absence of economic and social justice. By using dialogue among equals, as well as horizontal processes, it provided proof that social forces from different parts of the world, which may be militant against different problems, can still converge around common goals and so formulate an alternative vision and blueprint for the planet. With values like these, condensed in such slogans as “people before profits” and “another world is possible”, the World Social Forum was the space in which ideas and modes of action were born and grew which would eventually question the global neoliberal supremacy.
Our common responsibility to build a different prospect for the world is much greater these days, at a time that blind fanaticism, violence and social regression appear as alternative perspectives before the menacing force of the markets. Such were the motives behind those who, just the other day, spread death and fear in Tunis. The movements ought to block decisively the way to them by winning the hearts and minds of the poor and the oppressed. Neither the combination of fanaticism and intolerance, nor that of fascism and racism can open any new way for the future. The world will move ahead only thanks to democracy, respect for rights, solidarity and common struggles.
As you know, Greece has for some time now been on a collision course with the tenets of neo-liberalism. Faced with the disastrous policy of austerity and extortion by the markets, our people is determined to defend democracy, the welfare state, public goods and the right to an adequately paying job. We offer a fight for life, dignity and social justice, all within a struggle to orient the economy towards the needs of society, instead of society towards the needs of the economy and sheer financial profit.
Our horizons are not limited by the boundaries of our own country. They extend across all of Europe. We know that on our footsteps other people are following too, determined to use the power provided by democracy to make the world more just and the future more bright. The front that will clash with the current balance of power in Europe is already being formed and it becomes stronger every day.
We know that these developments will be discussed this year during the proceedings of the World Social Forum in Tunis. We know that a key consideration is the all-round support to Greece, but also to all the people fighting for a historic change in Europe and throughout the world. This is why Greece is sending today to those who participate in this year’s Forum, a greeting of optimism, strength and determination. Using solidarity as their weapon, the people will win!